Moving forward – Darren’s story
When Darren joined the Restart Scheme, he was suffering from debilitating anxiety and at times he even struggled to leave the house. Darren was also dealing with addiction.
He said: “I was out of work for so long, as I struggled with addictions and wasn't making the necessary steps to move forward.
“I knew I had to leave the house eventually and as I felt more comfortable in attending appointments with my Employment Adviser, it became second nature.”
Darren’s Restart Scheme Employment Adviser, Melanie, immediately made referrals to services – ‘Evolve’ and ‘Working Minds’ - that could help Darren to improve his mental health and support his issues with addiction.
Melanie told us: “Since working with Evolve and Working Minds, Darren feels that they have given him the support to move forward and helped him to make better choices. He has attended sessions every week so far and has felt a relief that he has been able to get things off his chest by speaking to them as professionals and with no judgement.
“Since joining the Restart Scheme, Darren has shown pure determination to turn his life around and has focused on the areas where he wants to improve most to help him back into working life."
With Darren now receiving professional support for his addiction and mental health problems, he and Melanie started to focus on employment. Melanie assisted Darren with setting up his own bank account and was able to give financial support towards funding travel costs for his Restart Scheme appointments. Together, they explored Darren’s transferable skills, and he decided he would like to pursue employment in the cleaning industry,
“Darren has battled through to continue attending his scheduled appointments with myself and the team”, said Melanie. “He has completed in-house courses focusing on resilience, transferrable skills, effective job searching, and mock interview practise sessions, which has helped him to confidently apply for jobs.
“After taking part in our ‘self-confidence’ sessions, and attending Working Minds, Darren told me how he felt able to open up more, and that the words from our Skills Trainer have significantly helped him to move forward.”
Darren has since been invited to interview with a cleaning agency and was offered a job, for an ideal role that is local to him. He shared with us: “I would have been stuck in my old ways if it wasn’t for the Restart Scheme. I now understand that you have to put in the work to get the results!”